The "Official 2008 San Francisco 49ers Thread"

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 9 years ago '05        #301
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Gore can expect busy day vs. Patriots


Running back Frank Gore will be a busy man on Sunday against the Patriots. Gore leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 412 yards 525 yards in four games. He'll undoubtedly be the focus of Bill Belichick's defense.

But that's not all. The Patriots like to create mismatches in which a running back is responsible for pass-blocking OLB Adalius Thomas. So Gore has to be ready for that, too.

"We'll take care of that," Gore said. "We do different schemes. If I get caught up on him, I got to do the job and try to stop him. (But) we'll try not to put me on him."

The Patriots figure to see Gore take some direct snaps after the success the Dolphins' Ronnie Brown had against New England two weeks ago. Brown took six direct snaps. He ran three times for 69 yards and three touchdowns; he threw a 19-yard TD pass; and he handed off twice to Ricky Williams for 31 yards.

Gore said he can throw the ball. He said he compares favorably to reserve running back Michael Robinson, who played quarterback in college.

"Mike's got a pretty good arm," Gore said. "I'm close to him. I told him I could've played quarterback at Penn State, too."

Here's are some of the questions I asked Gore today:

Q: Think they're going to try to beat you up?

Gore: (Laughs) "What do you mean, beat me up?"

Q: Remember the Super Bowl when they wanted to hit Marshall Faulk any time he came out of the backfield and make things rough on him . . .

Gore: "Yeah? They might just try to do that."

Q: Have teams tried to do that on you?

Gore: "Yeah. New Orleans tried to do that. They had two 'backers follow me all over."

Q: Belichick is considered a defensive genius. . .

Gore: "We've got a genius, too. Coach (Mike) Martz, man. I love him. I like this offense a whole lot. It's all about taking care of the small things. They went at it before. They'll go at it again. Coach Martz, he's a great coordinator. I love his offense."

Q: But Belichick had two weeks to prepare. You're the central guy in this offense. Do you expect to see something you haven't seen before?

Gore: "Nah. I know they'll probably come out, like you say, and try to get to me, hit me around. But that's the game, period. I just got to stay mentally into it and go out there and take care of the all the little things. When the opportunity for a big play comes, I have to make it. . . . It'll be great, you know.

Q: You sound pretty excited?

Gore: "Yeah, it'll be good."

* * *

Patriots WR Wes Welker (groin) went through limited practice today. WR Kelley Washington (ankle), LB Eric Alexander (hamstring) and CB Lewis Sanders (hamstring) did not practice.

[pic - click to view]







Niners' post-practice (for Pats) update


There are no changes to the 49ers' injury report. LB Manny Lawson, T Jonas Jennings and CB Shawntae Spencer are still out.

As reported yesterday, the 49ers have no plans right now to fill Spencer's spot on the roster because there simply is no void that needs to be filled. The 49ers began the season carrying more defensive backs that normal.

When asked yesterday if this was a money issue, Nolan said, "No, not at all."

However, the 49ers are also saving money (and salary-cap room) by not filling the roster spot. They're saving anywhere from $17,350 a week (for a rookie or first-year player) to $48,820 a week (for a player with 10-plus years of experience) by not filling the roster spot.

* * *

LB Tully Banta-Cain's chances of suiting up for Sunday's game against his former team are "better than favorable," Nolan said.

With Lawson out, Parys Haralson will start at OLB. Haralson is capable of playing all three downs. When Haralson needs a rest, Banta-Cain is likely to take over.

* * *

Nolan on the Bill Belichick-Mike Martz matchup: "Both he and Mike, when they go against each other, will try to figure out some little wrinkles to show one another."

* * *

From the 49ers' PR department . . . The 49ers' offense is 97.2 yards better per game than last season. The last team with that large of an increase (over a full season) was Martz's 121.3 improvement with the 1999 St. Louis Rams. . . . J.T. O'Sullivan ranks among the top deep passers in the NFL after four games. On passes thrown 21 yards or longer in the air, O'Sullivan has completed 62.5 percent and has a passer rating of 127.1. O'Sullivan is 10 of 16 for 318 yards and a touchdown on those passes.

[pic - click to view]



 10-03-2008, 01:49 AM         #302
Myles Away  OP
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 iCON216 said:
And you gotta like how Nolan is saying hes not gonna change anything...a good solution til Jennings come back would of been put Bass at LG and move Snyder to RT and bench Simms...or at least give Chilo a shot...only Heitman is playing good & and Staley is decent...


I dont think I'll be going to any game this year, yeah I know doesnt look good on fanhood credibility ...but Im saving money, yall know how sh*t is these days with money ...might go to the Jets game though...

But Im gonna try to split some season tickets with friends next season....
I feel you man, no matter what they gotta change something up with who they got startin on the O-Line. Sadly, I don't think Jennings will ever be the solution cause he not only can't stay healthy(staight robbed the Niners since he got here ), but he's catcing up with Kwame Harris in dumb a.ss penalties..... And speaking of Kwame, I think Simms just channeled the white Kwame with the way he was gettin burned last Sunday.

As far as you not "looking good on fanhood credibility" for not going to a game, GTFOH... You are probably the best Bay Area sports fan on this forum, and I don't think I can judge any Niner fan who doesn't want to go to a home game over the past five to six years... However I have realized Candlestick is about to be blown the fu*k up within a matter of years, so I gotta at least get a full season under my belt before they move to wherever they about to go. Honestly man, I buy all my games from Stub Hub which is pretty cheap. The most expensive ticket I've payed for this season is 50 for the Pats game. Just sayin, its not as as expensive as you think...
 9 years ago '06        #303
Xaiv 149 heat pts149
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If I see Michael Lewis,Mark Roman or Donald Strickland covering the opposing teams number one WR again.... :guns3:

Our defensive scheme is so fu*ked up
 9 years ago '05        #304
Sivraj 328 heat pts328
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Its time for a new coach. I'm sick of Nolan.




  48 - 18 STRK: 3 w in a row WIN PCT: 72% 41 (-3) 
  Career: | Aug 17: 20-14, Rank #101 | Aug 16: 163-114, Rank #57 | Aug 15: 638-305, Rank #25 | Aug 14: 350-224, Rank #32 | Aug 13: 442-331, Rank #18 | Aug 12: 1015-657, Rank #9 | Aug 11: 2019-1239, Rank #4 | Aug 10: 1992-1221, Rank #6 | Aug 09: 767-342, Rank #8 *
 9 years ago '05        #305
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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 Myles Away said:
I feel you man, no matter what they gotta change something up with who they got startin on the O-Line. Sadly, I don't think Jennings will ever be the solution cause he not only can't stay healthy(staight robbed the Niners since he got here ), but he's catcing up with Kwame Harris in dumb a.ss penalties..... And speaking of Kwame, I think Simms just channeled the white Kwame with the way he was gettin burned last Sunday.

As far as you not "looking good on fanhood credibility" for not going to a game, GTFOH... You are probably the best Bay Area sports fan on this forum, and I don't think I can judge any Niner fan who doesn't want to go to a home game over the past five to six years... However I have realized Candlestick is about to be blown the fu*k up within a matter of years, so I gotta at least get a full season under my belt before they move to wherever they about to go. Honestly man, I buy all my games from Stub Hub which is pretty cheap. The most expensive ticket I've payed for this season is 50 for the Pats game. Just sayin, its not as as expensive as you think...
Yeah its not that much but I prefer to get lower reserve seats but my preference might have to change...but theres a good chance I'll be going to the Jets game with a couple friends (one of my friends is a Packers fan and still is a fan of Brett Favre)...


Last edited by iCON216; 10-07-2008 at 09:41 PM..
 9 years ago '05        #306
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Nolan on Jackson: 'We liked the two players we took'


Coach Mike Nolan just met with the scribes (and a few cameras) for his typical Wednesday morning media briefing.


One of the topic was the 49ers' passing on DeSean Jackson to select Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal. (Actually, the receiver the 49ers considered taking in the second round was Limas Sweed.)

Anyway, this is what Nolan said about the Cal product:

"We liked the two players we took. We did like him as well, though. I don't want to take anything away from him. He's a very good player. He was over here. We met with him. We spoke with him. He was pleasant. He was good. I remember it was a good experience in speaking with him. At the time we had a couple other players we felt we - not necessarily need - but we thought would help us more quickly. But he's a good player. He's done a good job. He's the explosive player we thought he'd be."

(I'm sure that remark is going to raise some eyebrows. In fairness, how much would Jackson be playing if he were with the 49ers? He was forced into action with the Eagles due to injuries to Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis. It's probably similar to what happened with Josh Morgan in the exhibition season. When Morgan was pressed into action, he played well. But when the veterans got healthy, he became the No. 4 wideout.)

Q: Were you wary of his size?

Nolan: "I wouldn't say wary, but we thought he'd fit a specific role, as far as where he'd line up in the slot and all that. That is an important role. We at no time diminished his importance just because of his size, because he is an explosive player."

* * *

Here are some other highlights of Nolan's press gathering:

--The Eagles use the same West Coast system they've run for quite a while. Defensively, under coordinator Jim Johnson, they do a lot of blitzing. (The Eagles lead the league with 20 sacks.)

--When asked if the 49ers like to face a team that does a lot of blitzing because of the potential of hitting on some big plays, Nolan said, "Be careful what you wish for." He said the philosophy is to react to what's being dished out. (After all, the Saints didn't do a lot of blitzing, and they got to QB J.T. O'Sullivan to the tune of six sacks.)

--Nolan said he has a lot of respect for Johnson's work as a coordinator. He said that Johnson is an innovator in the way he brings blitzes from all different angles.

--Nolan said the offensive line played a game last week worthy of a winning effort. That unit will certain have its hands full against the Eagles.

--With RB Brian Westbrook nursing two broken ribs, Nolan said that is not something that is pointed out in defensive meetings. He said the game is a physical game, and players tackle with aggression. He said he has never mentioned injury situations to his players.


* * *

The 49ers' walk-through practice is in progress. Later today, they'll practice. The following players are not expected to practice:

RB Frank Gore and CB Walt Harris (coaches' decisions), LB Roderick Green (stomach virus), S Michael Lewis (elbow), LB Manny Lawson (hamstring), T Jonas Jennings (shoulder) and CB Shawntae Spencer (knee).

Nolan said he hopes to have all those players (with the exception of Spencer, who is out for the year) available for Sunday's game. Jennings and Lawson are very iffy, though.

[pic - click to view]




 9 years ago '05        #307
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Niners talking Westbrook, should be watching Buckhalter


Luck has been elusive for Mike Nolan since he arrived in San Francisco. He inherited a roster totally bereft of talent. He had the No. 1 draft pick in a year in which there were no saviors. He's had an exodus of offensive coordinators. This year, however, Nolan seems to have found his four-leaf clover: He keeps playing teams at just the right time. To wit:

# Vs. Seattle when the Seahawks had lost their Top 5 receivers

# Vs. New Orleans, which was playing without Drew Brees' top two targets

# Vs. New England, which had middling Matt Cassel under center instead of Tom Brady

# And now vs. the Eagles, who may or may not have Brian Westbrook, a player who accounted for 35 percent of their offense last season and half of their touchdowns.

The 49ers' defenders are preparing as if Westbrook, who has two broken ribs, will play. I'm skeptical. As Westbrook himself pointed out earlier in the week, even if he does play, he's not sure he'll be more effective at less than 100 percent than his healthy backup. The Eagles may make the same conclusion. And moreover, backup Correll Buckhalter might make a lot of sense against the 49ers' defense.

Nolan's "Big Sub" defense has been controversial to say the least. But if you think he's going to retire it against Philly and its West Coast offense, I have some McClatchy stock to sell you. Offenses have been countering the "Big Sub" with the biggest running back on their roster. Deuce McAllister, for example, hurt the 49ers in Week Four. Sammy Morris was effective for the Patriots Sunday.

Buckhalter, while not as elusive as Westbrook, is two inches taller and nearly 20 pounds heavier. If the Eagles are looking to hammer the 49ers - and given the past few games why wouldn't they? - he would be more effective than a 203-pound running back with two broken ribs. The 49ers have to guard against the trap they fell into in New Orleans. As TBC pointed out yesterday, the team went in expecting a heavy dose of Reggie Bush (whom they easily handled) and ended up being blindsided by McAllister.

***UPDATE*** More evidence the Eagles will use a pound-it-out approach: They have moved 6-1, 227-pound fullback Tony Hunt to halfback and made 275-pound DT Dan Klecko their fullback.

**************
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis yesterday ripped apart the rumored trade between his team and the 49ers for receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

"Boy, that's a bad rumor, huh?" Lewis said on Wednesday. "Number one, you're going to get a club in trouble for tampering. That club has already been penalized once this year, very harshly. "

"Number two, what club in its right mind would trade for a player that's going to be an unrestricted free agent? Again, if you're going to start a rumor, make it a good one. OK? Make it something that makes some sense to people inside the NFL. It's unfortunate."

It seems that anytime there's an attempt to stir up interest in a player at trade time, the 49ers are used as leverage. Briggs!! (To be said like "Kahn!!!")

[pic - click to view]






Martz, Davis differ on whether tight end has been productive


The expectation heading into the season was that Mike Martz's offense was going to be a boon for every skill player on the team. So far it has, with one notable exception. Through five games, tight end Vernon Davis has five catches for 87 yards. Through his first five games last season in Jim Hostler's stodgy offense that couldn't do anything right, he had 18 catches for 176 yards. Last year Davis complained - and Mike Nolan listened - that he was being kept in to block more than he was being sent out to catch passes. Today Davis said he's doing even more pass blocking than he did a year ago. "Yeah - big time," he said. "I never did pass protection as much as I did as I'm doing now." Is that a surprise? "A little bit. I didn't expect it. I definitely didn't expect it."

Which begs the question whether Davis, who is being sent on a number of deep routes, is being used correctly. Mike Martz today defended that use.

"Vernon runs like any receiver does. That being said, to run those routes from the tight end position - that's not an easy thing to do for a big man ... But we're making progress there. I'm excited about where he is right now."

Martz pointed to the second play of Sunday's game, an intermediate pass that went off Delanie Walker's hands and that would have been a huge gain, as evidence of Davis' contribution:

"Did you see how wide open he was? They were all running with Vernon. ... There were three guys chasing Vernon down the field. If we had completed that, (Walker) may have been in San Diego before he stopped. ... So even though he may not be getting the ball, he is a huge factor in what we do. ... The numbers - I think you've got to be real careful with the numbers with anybody. If somebody's getting real big numbers every week, that's not necessarily a good thing. That means you have to rely on that one individual to win and that's not always a good thing."

Q: But is there a sense that Davis is starting to get antsy with his production?
MM: Is this a serious question?
Q: Yeah - he has five catches in five games.
MM: I have no idea what he has. I don't think about those things to be honest with you. I'm sure anyone with five catches - I don't care who you are - is probably not satisfied. It's not the point, though, probably, is it? We're just trying to win. His time will come

Martz may not think about receptions, but Davis certainly does. "I want to help out as much as I can as far as catching passes. That's what I'm here to do - make plays. That's what I want to do. I guess there's really nothing you can do if you've got two or three guys running with you. The only thing you probably can do is come up with different ways to give me the ball or something like that."

******************
Last week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick noted that Martz was using Davis like he onced used Ernie Conwell in St. Louis. Martz today agreed with that a.ssessment, although he said that Davis has more speed with Conwell and because of that speed was being sent on more deep patterns. Conwell's best season came in 2001 when he had 38 catches, 431 receiving yards and four TDs.

*****************
Evidently, Davis is not a newspaper reader. Asked about Nolan's quote from Monday in which he said Davis did two out of three things well -- pass and run block -- but needed to perfect his rout running, Davis said he hadn't heard that a.ssessment.

"I didn't hear that. I don't know what to say about that one. I don't know what to say about that one. Like I said, every route I run, I run a correct route. I mean, if I don't then I'm pretty sure someone would say something about it."

[pic - click to view]



 9 years ago '05        #308
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Bust? Nah, Davis among 49ers' best offensive players


Are the 49ers getting from Vernon Davis what they expected when they selected him with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2006 draft?

No. They surely expected him to be an immediate sensation as a pass-catcher, unleashing his freakish size and speed to become a big-play threat from anywhere on the field.

Does that mean Davis is a bust? No.

Bust has many connotations. One is that a player -- such as Davis who received a guaranteed $9.36 million option bonus and a $1.885 roster bonus as a rookie - got the money and then stopped working.

Davis does not fit that description. He is a hard worker. In fact, the craft he has mastered (blocking) requires a lot more hard work and attitude than running down the field and catching passes. Blocking is a thankless job for tight ends, yet Davis is very good at it.

Davis was asked yesterday, facetiously, about putting on 50 pounds and becoming a left tackle. (At least, I think it was facetious; I wasn't there yesterday, so I didn't hear the tone of the question.)

"If I put on 50 pounds and be a tackle, I'd probably be the best tackle that every lived," Davis laughed.

And, you know what? He's probably right.

Davis has just five catches on the season. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz keeps saying Davis is close to becoming a big factor in the passing game. Maybe he already is. After all, he is a monster in pass protection. He is capable of handling opposing defensive ends one on one. He might even be better than tackles Joe Staley and Barry Sims in that regard.


* * *

By my count, he was on the field for 51 pass plays the past two weeks (Davis comes out in four-receiver sets, replaced by Josh Morgan). Davis remained in to block 24 times and went out on a pass route 27 times. Roughly half the time, the 49ers called a pass play with Davis on the field he was used as a sixth pass-protector.

He was the target of only two passes in those games. On both of those, he started out as a blocker, then released into the flat. He caught one of those passes and turned it into a 19-yard gain; he dropped the other pass several yards behind the line of scrimmage.


* * *

Martz also cited one of the early plays in last week's game in which Delanie Walker was wide open on a shallow right-to-left crossing route. On that play, two defenders were on Davis on the right side of the field.

"They were running like crazy trying to catch (Vernon), and so, even though he may not be getting the ball, he's a huge factor in what we do," Martz said. "If somebody goes to sleep on him, he's going to make a big play."


* * *

Davis probably won't approach the numbers he put up last season in Jim Hostler's offense.

Davis caught 52 passes for 509 yards and four touchdowns. The 49ers would like to get the ball deep to Davis. But in order for them to get the ball deep, quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan needs the pass protection that only Davis can give him.

I've mentioned in the past that Davis' offensive production is a major disappointment. But here's a thought: Behind Frank Gore, Davis might be the 49ers' best offensive player, as far as fulfilling his a.ssignments.


* * *

MARTZ'S TIGHT ENDS

Here are the statistics for the top pass-catching tight ends in Mike Martz's offenses with the Rams and Lions:

1999, Rams: Roland Williams 25 catches, 226 yards, 6 TDs
2000, Rams: Williams 11-102-3
2001, Rams: Ernie Conwell 38-431-4
2002, Rams: Conwell 34-419-2
2003, Rams: Brandon Manumaleuna 29-238-2
2004, Rams: Manumaleuna 15-174-1
2005, Rams: Manumaleuna 13-129-1
2006, Lions: Dan Campbell 21-308-4
2007, Lions: Sean McHugh 17-252-0
2008, 49ers: Currently on pace for - Vernon Davis 16-278-0, Delanie Walker 16-234-3.

[pic - click to view]







Friday afternoon 49ers-Eagles updates


News out of Philly is that the Eagles will be without running back Brian Westbrook, receiver Reggie Brown and guard Shawn Andrews.

Knowing that Westbrook will not play Sunday against the 49ers does not change how the 49ers' defense will approach this game, 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. He said the difference between Westbrook and backup Correll Buckhalter is not too dramatic - such as, say, the difference between New Orleans' Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister.

"Buckhalter is a very good back," Nolan said. "It'll give them a chance to activate (Lorenzo) Booker a little more in the offense. So things like that are what we'll have to pay a little closer attention to."

The 49ers anticipated Andrews would not play, and the 49ers figure receiver Kevin Curtis' return will compensate for the loss of Brown. Curtis, who caught 77 passes for 1,110 yards and six touchdowns, has been inactive for the first five games of the season with a sports hernia.


* * *

Linebacker Manny Lawson (hamstring) is doubtful for the game. His chances of playing are slim to none. Tackle Jonas Jennings (shoulder) has no chance of playing, Nolan said.


* * *

Linebacker Takeo Spikes is not injured, but he took fewer reps in practice today. Nolan likes to keep some his veterans fresh.


* * *

After practice, rookie defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer went off by himself and got some additional work on the blocking sled. Nolan saw Balmer and went over to give him some coaching tips.

Balmer, at times, has a tendency to raise his pad level, which makes him easier for an offensive lineman to control.

"If I just line up in front of the sled and hit it a bunch of times, I can work on pad level," Nolan said. "But the reality is, in a game, nobody ever comes straight off the ball. They try to work for an angle to stretch you here or cut you off there. So you have to line up on the sled in a way that you can make that adjustment yourself, so that it's real. Otherwise you practice footwork that's not going to happen."

[pic - click to view]



 9 years ago '05        #309
Sivraj 328 heat pts328
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Can we say new coach?




  48 - 18 STRK: 3 w in a row WIN PCT: 72% 41 (-3) 
  Career: | Aug 17: 20-14, Rank #101 | Aug 16: 163-114, Rank #57 | Aug 15: 638-305, Rank #25 | Aug 14: 350-224, Rank #32 | Aug 13: 442-331, Rank #18 | Aug 12: 1015-657, Rank #9 | Aug 11: 2019-1239, Rank #4 | Aug 10: 1992-1221, Rank #6 | Aug 09: 767-342, Rank #8 *
 9 years ago '06        #310
Xaiv 149 heat pts149
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Through 6 games, Both were 2-4 as starters. Figuring Martz and Norv Turner are on even playing fields, here's how do the numbers pan out:

Alex Smith - 2-4 as a starter in 2006

109 of 183 (59.5%) for 1285 yards. 8 touchdowns, 4 interceptions. 1 lost fumble. Sacked 13 times



JT O'Sullivan - 2-4 as a starter in 2008

99 of 170 (58.2%) for 1291 yards. 7 touchdowns, 8 interceptions. 4 lost fumbles. Sacked 23 times
 9 years ago '05        #311
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Is there hope? Niners fold with fourth-quarter meltdown


Is the 49ers' season lost?

Coach Mike Nolan tried to ease the concerns of his team afterward. His postgame talk to his team focused on how the season is long and there's still a lot of time for the 49ers to turn this thing around.

But you really have to wonder. This was a game the 49ers should have won. But they completely folded in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers ran 16 offensive plays in the fourth quarter and they lost 2 yards in total offense. Frank Gore touched the ball just twice in the fourth quarter. That doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

J.T. O'Sullivan threw two interceptions (one of which was returned for a touchdown in the final minute) and lost a fumble.

The 49ers were outscored 23-0 in the fourth quarter. Click here to read my article for the newspaper.


* * *

Obviously, many plays went awry. One play that deserves special attention was a third-and-6 from the Eagles' 11 late in the third quarter. The 49ers were leading 23-17.

The Eagles brought six people on a blitz. Tight end Vernon Davis lined on the left side. O'Sullivan rolled right. They had the tight end screen set up perfectly, but when O'Sullivan turned to throw back to the other side, safety Quintin Mikell was in his face. O'Sullivan hurried his throw and tossed it over Davis' head.

It would've been an easy touchdown. The 49ers had three blockers out in front of Davis and there were no Eagles defenders on that side of the field.

"There was no one there at all," Davis said. "He had a lot of pressure on him, so he had to get rid of it. He couldn't see me because he had linemen in his face. . . . I was set where I was supposed to set and I did what I was supposed to do."

The 49ers settled for a field goal to increase their lead to 26-17 - instead of 30-17.


* * *

Obviously, another key sequence was after the Eagles pulled to within two points early in the fourth quarter. What the 49ers needed was a time-consuming drive. They needed to use Gore to chew up the clock and perhaps move down the field to increase their lead.

Instead, the 49ers went three-and-out with two incomplete passes and a pass to Davis for negative-7 yards. That drive used up just 1 minute, four seconds. In fact, in the fourth quarter the 49ers had six drives and managed only one first down.

It seemed like pretty odd play-calling by offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

"You know, we've just got to finish," Gore said. "I'm not the coach, and I don't make the calls. The Eagles made big plays. We made mistakes and we lost the game. Our coach did what he thought was the best thing for us to get a first down and move the ball. We made mistakes toward the end. They made the plays and won the game."

Said O'Sullivan: "I believe whatever play coach Martz calls is the best play for our offense. We were trying to move the ball and be aggressive. He is going to call the play that he feels is going to be the most successful."


* * *


The one big head-scratcher was Mike Nolan's decision to challenge David Akers' made field goal midway through the fourth quarter.

This was not a good day for Nolan challenges - or non-challenges. But it's my understanding that Nolan should not have been allowed to challenge that call because the kick sailed over the upright and could not have been reversed anyway because there's no frame of reference on video.

"I asked him (referee Ron Winter), 'Is it challengeable?' And he said, 'It really doesn't matter now that you threw the red flag'" Nolan said. "They have to correct that. There's got to be some kind of signal that says it's not only good but it's not challengeable or it is."

The play the 49ers should have challenged was on the second drive of the game.

Hank Baskett was ruled to catch a 16-yard pass on a third-and-2 play from the 49ers' 29. Despite the ruling of a completed pass, the ball clearly popped out of Baskett's grasp and hit the ground. Nolan said he was not made aware that the ball was not caught until after it was too late. Four plays later, the Eagles scored the first touchdown of the game to take a 7-3 lead.


* * *

Injury report

Receiver Josh Morgan played almost the entire game at split end because Bryant Johnson is battling hamstring and groin strains. He is hobbled. Johnson practiced Wednesday and Thursday, but sat out Friday's work. He was not on the team's injury report.

Fullback Zak Keasey's right arm was in a sling. He said X-rays proved negative, but he is scheduled for an MRI examination on Monday to see is something significant is wrong. Keasey hinted that it might be something serious, such as a torn tendon. Keasey sustained the injury while blocking on a first-half kickoff. He did not return to the game. If Keasey is out, look for Michael Robinson and Delanie Walker to split the duties of the fullback.

Kicker Joe Nedney had a shoulder sprain, an injury from trying to make a tackle in the first half. He continued to kick.

Vernon Davis required about five stitches to close a gash on his left forearm. The 49ers appeared to be taking extra precautions after the game after the staph infection that broke out late in training camp.

* * *

Report card

Here's my quickie grades from the game:

Quarterback
D: With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, J.T. O'Sullivan threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. O'Sullivan completed 17 of 30 passes for 199 yards. His passer rating was 49.2.

Running back
A-minus: Frank Gore ran hard. He gained 101 yards and a touchdown on just 19 carries, while also catching three passes for 16 yards. Backup DeShaun Foster failed to convert a third-and-1 run in the second half when the 49ers were moving the ball.

Receiver/tight end
C: Vernon Davis finally was part of the game plan, catching six passes for 75 yards. The wideouts did not do a whole lot, as Isaac Bruce, Arnaz Battle and Josh Morgan combined for just six catches for 92 yards.

Offensive line
B-minus: Overall, it was a strong performance against one of the more difficult teams in the league to play against. The protection held up very well for most of the game against the Eagles' blitzes. This unit gave O'Sullivan time to throw. Also, there were holes for Gore. On the down side, the line was responsible for four penalties for 23 yards.

Defensive line
D: The defensive line did not get much pressure on Donovan McNabb with their four-man rush. They also had a difficult time containing Correll Buckhalter, who rushed for 93 yards on 18 carries.

Linebacker
B-minus: Takeo Spikes made an interception deep in 49ers territory late in the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter, Patrick Willis failed to hold onto a ball that would've been a pivotal turnover. Willis and Spikes were the team's leading tacklers.

Defensive back
D: The 49ers secondary had a very difficult time keeping up with rookie DeSean Jackson, who caught six passes for 98 yards. McNabb threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns while compiling a passer rating of 94.7.

Special teams
B-plus: Ray McDonald's blocked field goal, which resulted in Donald Strickland's 41-yard TD return looked to be the momentum-changer the 49ers needed. The 49ers' coverage units did not have a good day. The Eagles' average starting point was their own 46.

Coaching/overall
D: Coach Mike Nolan ordered a couple questionable challenges, including his decision to appear a made field goal in the fourth quarter. The play had no chance to get overturned, and the 49ers needed that timeout. The stars seemed to align for a 49ers victory, but they could not close the deal.

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Last edited by iCON216; 10-13-2008 at 06:00 PM..
 9 years ago '05        #312
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Kick above the top of upright is not reviewable


Just received word from the NFL Office in New York on what happened when 49ers coach Mike Nolan challenged David Akers' 38-yard field goal on Sunday. The kick gave the Eagles a 27-26 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

My first question to league spokesman Randall Liu (via email) is whether the play was even reviewable.

Field goals and PATs are reviewable this season. Here is the wording in the rule book on a reviewable kick: "A field goal or Try attempt that crosses below or above the crossbar, inside or outside the uprights when it is lower than the top of the uprights, or touches anything."

So, "(a) field goal or Try attempt that crosses above either upright without touching anything" is a non-reviewable play, Liu relayed in his message.

Why was Nolan allowed to challenge the call?

"On the play in question, the official underneath ruled that the field goal had gone inside the uprights and not over, thus making it a reviewable play," Liu said.

Referee Ron Winter ruled that there was no indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call on the field, Liu said.

The ruling on the field, according to the league, was that the kick was below the top of the upright. The replay appeared to show that the kick was above the upright, making it impossible for Winter to overturn the call.

But, also, if the ball was above the upright, the officials should not have allowed Nolan to challenge it in the first place.

An NFL pool reporter (that's my job at Candlestick) is allowed to ask questions of the referee after the game. However, it was only after Nolan gave his version of events that it became apparent more clarification was needed. Therefore, no request to speak was made to speak after the game with Winter.


Here's what Nolan said about the situation after the game:
RE: The field goal.

Nolan: "The field goal. Yeah. This is not a complaint to the officials but they have to make a signal at some point that says it's above the bar or not. Because as it is, I challenged it not knowing if it's above or below. What I'm saying is if the challenge...I still have to challenge because I threw the red flag. Because I asked him, 'Is it challengeable?' And he said, 'It really doesn't matter now that you threw the red flag.' So either way it was going to cost me. So in the discussions right there, they have to correct that. There's got to be some kind of signal that says it's not only good but it's not challengeable or it is. Obviously that didn't cost us the game. But anyway, [it's] something they've got to fix."

RE: How can they reverse that if there's not a camera at the same place where the referee is? How can you get that reversed?
Nolan: "When he came over, I asked him the same exact question. Other than, can I challenge it? He asked the guy, 'Was it below it?' And they all kind of said it was. But outside of that, I said, 'What views are you going to see? Are they going to be different from what I see?' And he said, 'I'm just going to see what they give me on the monitor.' That was his response. So it's not as if there's a camera, I guess. If there was, he'd have said, 'there was one.' So as the way it's setup now, it's all fine and dandy. Basically what they get to challenge is if you've got a situation like last year where the thing bounces off the cross bar or hits the little machine that's there. Then you get it. Otherwise, it's ineffective. The challenges don't mean anything."

RE: You weren't aware of this before?
Nolan: "You know what? I thought maybe there was something...because I didn't think it was good, to be honest with you. I wanted to hear what he had to say coming over. That's why I also thought that coming over if he said, 'You can't challenge it because it was above the cross bar.' I was going to say, 'Well then I get my challenge back.' But he says, 'No, you're not going to get your challenge back.'"

RE: You mean the upright?
Nolan: "The upright, forgive me."

[pic - click to view]






No changes are coming for 49ers' beleaguered defense



There will be no changes to the 49ers defense, coach Mike Nolan said today during his Monday press conference.

"No, I'm looking for us to play better," Nolan answered when asked if changes were coming.

Gary Plummer, the radio analyst on 49ers' broadcasts, said this morning on the KNBR Morning Show that there needed to be changes. Click on this paragraph and look under Monday, Oct. 13, to find Plummer's interview with Murph & Mac.



The 49ers have a veteran defense. How can a veteran defense make these kinds of mistakes? Nolan said the same as a young defense, by not paying attention to detail. He said the 49ers need to be more consistent.

Has the coaching staff put together good game plans?

"I think they'vre OK, but at the same time that's been part of our issue," Nolan said. "We're looking at the whole package." He said they need to look at every part of their preparation.

Nolan defended cornerback Walt Harris and Mark Roman. When asked if Dashon Goldson should get more action at Roman's expense, Nolan said he would stick with Roman.

"Mark's a good football player," Nolan said. "He helps us win and helps people around him, and makes the players around him better. They feel a.ssured he'll do his job. . . . Not to take anything away from Dashon. Dashon's a good player. Will he help our stealing the ball? I don't know. In the 'Big Sub,' he was in every down. He has been playing, and I don't recall seeing him get turnovers at that time."


--Nolan said he is not looking to take defensive play-calling duties away from coordinator Greg Manusky. "We collectively discuss a lot of it," he said. "There's not a whole lot of calls that I would've changed, but at the same time we look at where can we do our part to a.ssist the players?"

--INJURY UPDATE: Fullback Zak Keasey will be placed on injured reserve with a torn biceps tendon in his right arm. The 49ers probably would've called Moran Norris, however, he just signed last week with the Detroit Lions. The 49ers are discussing what to do with the roster spot. Delanie Walker, Billy Bajema and Michael Robinson can all help fill Keasey's role in the offense.

Linebacker Manny Lawson's return this week after missing two games with a hamstring strain is "probable," Nolan said. He said he was not sure about the status of tackle Jonas Jennings, who has been out since Sept. 14 with a right shoulder injury.

--Nolan said the loss of Bryant Young is not the problem. He said he has confidence in the guys who are playing right now.

--In response to my earlier blog about the NFL saying the official ruled David Akers' go-ahead field goal was below the top of the upright, Nolan suggested that is not what he was told on the sideline or this morning.

--Nolan said the team's system for challenges is a good one. He said it's a collective decision, but Nolan gets the final decision.

On the Eagles' second drive of the game, the 49ers missed an opportunity to hold Philadelphia to a field goal when Hank Baskett appeared to drop a third-down pass. The Eagles scored a TD several plays later.

I watched that sequence today. From the time the replay was shown on TV, a full 15 seconds elapsed before the Eagles ran another play. I asked if Nolan had his headsets on at that point.

"That's a good question," Nolan said. "I didn't get anything said to me until later. . . . I can't recall."

Is there a system in place so that if you don't have your headset on, they can get to you?

"Yes there is," Nolan said.

--Nolan called the criticism of offensive coordinator Mike Martz's fourth-quarter playcalling as hindsight. Nolan said the thing the 49ers' offense was able to do throughout the game was keep the Eagles off-balance. Nolan said the 49ers felt like they had the Eagles off balance at the start of the fourth quarter.

--With the trade deadline looming, Nolan said he has not had any discussion with GM Scot McCloughan.

The 49ers do not appear interested in making any trades, especially for a receiver. The Lions contacted them to gauge interest in Roy Williams. The 49ers were not interested. Williams was not known for putting in a lot of time to learn Martz's system.

--Nolan was told that there's a lot of disappointment, anger and frustration from the fans -- a lot of directed at him. Can he understand why the fans are so upset?

"Sure, we're losing," Nolan said. "We've lost three in a row. . . . The only thing I'm concerned about is winning and trying to win.

"Fans want to win and I want to win, and everything we do is geared toward winning. And it'll stay that way. Everything else is peripheral."

[pic - click to view]





Last edited by iCON216; 10-13-2008 at 06:05 PM..
 9 years ago '05        #313
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Insult to injury: Philly fans rock the 'Stick


Lots written today about Mike Nolan's odd challenges. I will add to that chorus, but first a subject that could and should be more distressing to the Yorks ... Philly fans. Lots of them. The Candlestick stands yesterday were covered with green, like some noxious weed grown out of control. A week after hearing the chant of "Let's go, Sox!" echo through the 49ers hallowed stadium, on Sunday it was "Beat, L.A.!" Sure, San Franciscans can get behind that sentiment. But from Eagles fans?

I grew up in the Mid Atlantic. I know people from Philadelphia. (Yeah you, Simon) Lemme tell you, there is nothing you want less in your home than a Philadelphia fan. The 49ers had thousands of them in their home on Sunday. I'm conservatively estimating there were 12,000 Eagles fans on hand. And if you doubt me, listen to the telecast. It sounds like the game was played at the Linc. It was like the whole city decided to spend Columbus Day in the Bay Area. To do list: Wine country. Alcatraz. Beat up on the 49ers.

And like I said, that has to me more maddening to the Yorks than botched calls or interceptions or dubious fourth-quarter decision making. Because for the last two weeks, 49ers fans have stated loudly and clearly - and correctly - that they have no confidence in their team. For as many Patriots and Eagles fans as there were at Candlestick, there had to have been a almost equal number of empty seats. And Lord knows how many seats the Yorks are buying up themselves. All in all, it's an ugly situation for a family that's trying to convince the public to help finance a new stadium ...

[pic - click to view]





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 10-19-2008, 09:02 PM         #314
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49ers' report card starts with an F at QB


By MATT MAIOCCO
PRESS DEMOCRAT

Published: Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 3:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 4:26 p.m.

QUARTERBACK

F

J.T. O’Sullivan continues his disturbing trend of making crucial mistakes at the wrong time. He threw two interceptions, including a back-breaker late in the first half, and fumbled four times. He lost one fumble, and another resulted in a safety.

RB

C-minus

Frank Gore was more of a presence in the passing game with three catches for 50 yards. He could never get anything going against the Giants’ active defensive front. Gore managed just 11 yards on 11 carries.

WR

C-minus

Vernon Davis dropped a perfectly thrown pass down the field early in the game. Josh Morgan had his best game, including his first career touchdown.

But Morgan also dropped a deep pass when the 49ers were trying to rally.

OL

D-plus

The line had stretches when it gave O’Sullivan a lot of time to throw, but things also collapsed when the 49ers were trying to play catch up. The 49ers gave up six sacks and averaged just 2.2 yards per rushing attempt.

DL

C-plus

Aubrayo Franklin had his best game of the season, and Justin Smith was his usual active self. The run defense was solid. They didn’t get much pressure on Eli Manning, but they did bat down four passes at the line of scrimmage.

LB

B-plus

Patrick Willis had another strong all-around day. He recorded nine tackles and also broke up a game-high three passes. Manny Lawson saw his most extensive playing time of the year and had four tackles.

DB

B-plus

Nate Clements and Walt Harris were called for pass-interference penalties, but both played very well. The Giants were held to just 161 passing yards without much pass rush. Clements held Plaxico Burress to three catches for 24 yards and a TD.

SPECIAL TEAMS

A-minus

The 49ers became the first NFL team to score on blocked field-goal returns in back-to-back games. Lawson blocked the kick, and Clements returned it 74 yards for a touchdown.

COACHING/OVERALL

D-plus

The game plans were solid, but the 49ers were not sharp. They committed 13 penalties for 134 yards, and failed to execute some plays that could have gone for big yards. The 49ers had a chance to pull off an upset, but they couldn’t get the job done.

[pic - click to view]




 9 years ago '05        #315
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Mike Nolan is just a couple of inches of getting CANNED:applause:




  48 - 18 STRK: 3 w in a row WIN PCT: 72% 41 (-3) 
  Career: | Aug 17: 20-14, Rank #101 | Aug 16: 163-114, Rank #57 | Aug 15: 638-305, Rank #25 | Aug 14: 350-224, Rank #32 | Aug 13: 442-331, Rank #18 | Aug 12: 1015-657, Rank #9 | Aug 11: 2019-1239, Rank #4 | Aug 10: 1992-1221, Rank #6 | Aug 09: 767-342, Rank #8 *
 9 years ago '05        #316
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Nolan out; Singletary's deal is pending


So did anything happen while I was traveling back from the East Coast?

I just landed at SFO and was greeted by about 20 voicemails. I had a suspicion that something was going on.

And, yes, I just confirmed it. Mike Nolan was fired this afternoon as head coach of the 49ers. Mike Singletary is the choice to take over for him to finish out the season. The sides are currently working on the deal.

Singletary was conflicted about taking the job, but he spoke with Nolan spoke this afternoon and Nolan eased his concerns about accepting the interim job.

Also, the 49ers have fired offensive line coach George Warhop. a.ssistant offensive line coach Chris Foerster will take over as offensive line coach.

Nolan compiled a 18-37 record as head coach after taking over in 2005.

The 49ers hired Nolan on Jan. 19, 2005 -- 37 years to the day that his father, d*ck, was hired as head coach of the 49ers. d*ck Nolan won three straight NFC West division titles with the 49ers.


* * *

Singletary will get his chance after interviewing for four NFL head-coaching positions in the past three years. He did not get an interview for a job this past offseason. Singletary was also a leading candidate for the coaching job at his alma mater, Baylor, before pulling his name out of the running.


* * *

Singletary met with his a.ssistant coaches at around 6 p.m. this evening. He stressed that the coaches have to devote all their attention to getting ready for the coming game against the Seahawks.

"It's a hard deal," one 49ers a.ssistant coach said. "The last 3-and-a-half years there was a whole lot of work put into this. Unfortunately, this is part of the game."

[pic - click to view]







Singletary deal is done


The 49ers have announced that Mike Nolan has been fired, and Mike Singletary has signed a deal through the end of the season to become the interim coach.

"This decision was difficult because Mike has been both a friend and valued coach of our team," general manager Scot McCloughan said in a statement. "I have a great deal of respect for Mike and his family. But my first obligation is always to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire 49ers organization. It is for this reason that we've made the decision to give the head coaching role to Mike Singletary.

"I am confident that Mike Singletary's leadership ability along with his experience as both a Hall of Fame player and coach gives him the ability to turn our season around."

There will be noon press conference on Tuesday.

[pic - click to view]


http://blog.pressdemocrat.com/49ers/2008/10/singletary-deal-is-done.html


Last edited by iCON216; 10-21-2008 at 01:02 AM..
 9 years ago '05        #317
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Niners sign Heitmann to contract extension


The 49ers signed center Eric Heitmann on Sept. 27 to a contract extension through 2011. The deal was first reported on Pro Football Talk.

Heitmann's contract was set to expire at the end of this season.

This poses the question: Why the 49ers would sign Heitmann to a new deal when the team just invested a fourth-round draft pick on center Cody Wallace?

But Heitmann's contract extension does not tie up a bunch of cap room. In 2010 and 2011, it contains $600,000 in per-game bonuses for being on the 45-man game-day roster.

UPDATE: In the above paragraph, it's $600,000 total for two years, meaning it's an additional $18,750 for every game he suits up.

[pic - click to view]







Singletary introduced as 49ers' 16th head coach


The 49ers just held a press conference in which Mike Singletary was announced as the head coach, replacing Mike Nolan, who was fired on Monday.

Almost as noteworthy was Jed York's appearance as the "face" of ownership. York, the son of John and Denise, was the first one to the podium to talk. In Singletary's updated bio, Jed York is listed as owner.

York said the 49ers have lacked passion and intensity . . . and a k!ller instinct to finish off opponents. He pointed out the team's nine-point lead against the Philadelphia Eagles a couple weeks ago that was erased in the fourth quarter.

(All in all, a pretty good showing from Jed York on his first crack in front of the media on such a major announcement. Jed is 27, and turns 28 in March.)

* * *
GM Scot McCloughan took the stage and talked about the difficult time personally and professionally in firing Nolan on Monday. McCloughan and Jed York delivered the news. John York was not in the building, McCloughan said.

"It doesn't all fall on his shoulders," McCloughan said of Nolan. "It was not completely his fault."

As for his own job security, McCloughan said, "My job's on the line every day."

* * *
McCloughan said Nolan's exit from the organization was classy. McCloughan and the Yorks had talked about firing Nolan for several weeks, according to McCloughan. They decided to make the decision yesterday after an ESPN report said Nolan would be fired after the upcoming Seattle game.

McCloughan said he did not believe that report came from anybody in the 49ers organization. (But, of course, who else could have leaked the information? After all, Nolan had not yet been told he was being fired.)

Nolan did not ask to be fired after catching wind of yesterday's ESPN report, McCloughan said.

* * *
Upon being offered the job, Singletary talked with Mike Nolan. He obviously was conflicted about accepting the job to replace the man who brought him to the organization. But Nolan encouraged Singletary to take the job.

"I want you to understand something: I want you to take this job," Nolan told Singletary (according to Singletary). "If you do not take the job, I'd be very disappointed in you as my friend," Nolan said.

* * *
I have not yet spoken to Mike Nolan. Last night, I spoke to his wife Kathy. Mike was spending time with the rest of the family.

* * *
Why wasn't Mike Martz promoted? McCloughan said it was more about what Singletary could do. Also, Martz's undertaking with the offense is enough to keep him fully occupied.

* * *
McCloughan confirmed my report last night that offensive line coach George Warhop has been fired.

* * *

Singletary previously interviewed for four NFL head-coaching jobs. In retrospect, he says he is glad he did not get any of those jobs (Lions, Falcons, Cowboys and Chargers). He said he is ready for this challenge.

He said, in comparison, his job is going to be easy. Mike Nolan did the hard work of building the foundation, Singletary said.

Singletary gave no answers to how he would change things. He said he will be true to himself and do what's in his heart.

Rather than make promises, Singletary asked those watching and listening to continue to watch and make their own observations on how things are different.

* * *

As for the organization's future, Jed York said the 49ers will reassess their operation at the end of the season. Singletary, obviously, will have a chance to become the head coach in 2009.

* * *
And with that . . . Singletary returned upstairs to continue preparations for facing the Seahawks on Sunday.

Singletary met with the coaches last night and the players this morning.

* * *
TV BLACKOUT HEADING THIS WAY?

Vice president of communications Lisa Lang, who said she does not know if this weekend's game will be blacked out. She said she does not have access to those numbers until Wednesday. Then, the team will have to make a decision on Thursday and report to the league.

A league source said the 49ers are in danger of their first blackout since early in the 1981 season.

[pic - click to view]







Niners: Game against Seahawks will NOT be blacked out


The 49ers' game Sunday against the Seahawks will not be blacked out on local television, a team spokesman said just moments ago.

The 49ers have not been blacked out locally since Sept. 27, 1981, a game in which the 49ers defeated the Saints 21-14 at Candlestick Park. The 49ers drew just 44,433 for that game.

The following home game was the 49ers' epic regular-season showdown against the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers won that game 45-14 in front of 57,574 fans.

Earlier today, I spoke with 49ers vice president of communications Lisa Lang. I asked her about a rumor that I heard from an NFL source that the 49ers were struggling to sell tickets for this week's game. Lang said the club would not find out whether this game would be a sellout until later in the week.

But I just had email update from Lang that puts that concern to rest.

"After we spoke today, I looked into where things stood for the game against Seattle and it will meet the NFL rules for a sell-out," Lang said. "I can confirm today that the game will be broadcasted."

Sunday's game will be on Fox. Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli will call the action in the booth, with Danyelle Sargent as the field reporter.

[pic - click to view]






(Audio)
49ers GM Scot McCloughan On KNBR Radio
(Razor & Mr. T)
10/21


Last edited by iCON216; 10-21-2008 at 09:02 PM..
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Singletary conducts first Wednesday briefing


Mike Singletary talked to the media, just moments before hitting the field for the first time for the team's walk-through.

Singletary entered the cramped room off the team's practice field that is used for Wednesday morning press briefings. He had no prepared statements. He fielded questions immediately.

He said it's a little strange not to have Mike Nolan in the building. He said being named interim head coach is humbling. Singletary promised to take the team to the "next level."

When asked about "the next level," Singletary did not define it. He said the club will stress the details that are needed to make a difference. He said he thought onlookers would see a difference.

Last night, Singletary got the coaches together. This morning, he met with the players. "To me, the most important thing is to reset the agenda and vision," Singletary said.

When asked about what kind of role he'll have in the offense, Singletary said he has full confidence in Mike Martz. Singletary chuckled when he talked about the interaction between the two men yesterday. Singletary went to speak to Martz about some things.

"What do you want to talk about? Why do you want to talk about that?" Those are the words Martz said to Singletary, according to Singletary. It wasn't entirely clear whether Martz was being as defensive as it sounded or if there was any humor involved.

Singletary said Martz told him the most important thing was to move forward together. "Mike, you're the guy, so let's go get it," Martz told Singletary.

When asked about how a defensive coach prepares for the game- and clock-management parts of the game, Singletary said this is something for which he's been preparing for a long time. He spends his offseason talking to coaches and referees, he said.

"I'm confident everything will go smooth," Singletary said.

Singletary talked about the defensive coaches all contributing to the game plan. He said he looked at the game plans last night for the upcoming Seattle game, and he's confident in what the team will be doing.

Is the team a 3-4 or 4-3? Singletary said, "We'll see at game time. We're schizophrenic. We don't know what we do."

When asked whether he's going to make it a priority to get younger players on the field - such as Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal - Singletary said he'll do whatever it takes to win. "We just need to play better."

* * *
INJURY REPORT: DE Ray McDonald (knee) and S Dashon Goldson (knee) are both out for this week's game with injuries sustained Sunday against the Giants. To be ruled out this early in the week would seem to suggest these are injuries that will keep them out a while.

Also, T Jonas Jennings (shoulder), S Michael Lewis (knee), WR Josh Morgan (groin), S Mark Roman (groin) and RS Allen Rossum (groin) will not practice today. All but Jennings are expected to be available for Sunday's game. (Walt Harris will also not practice, but he's fine.) And CB Nate Clements (ribs) will see limited work, but he should be good to go for the game.

[pic - click to view]







Holmgren shares thoughts on 49ers situation


Seattle coach Mike Holmgren was patched through to the media trailer for his conference call. His first words: "It's kind of wild down there."

Indeed.

When asked for reaction on what happened with the 49ers this week, Holmgren said, "You know, Mike Nolan is a good guy. He's a friend of mine. I don't like the in-season stuff. That shouldn't shock anybody. That's my profession, and it's hard. I know his family and it's his heart. I wish him well."

Q: You obviously know Scot McCloughan well, too. What kind of relationship do you have with him?

Holmgren: With Scotty? Or, Scot, I should say now. He's an executive. . . . I have a good relationship with Scot, I believe. He was really a very competent, hard-working personnel guy when he was with me. And he's really a good guy.

Q: Did it surprise you that Scot felt compelled to do that to the guy who hired him?

Holmgren: You don't know what actually goes into something like that. Ownership has to be involved, executives have to be involved. Exactly how it came down . . . I'm sure Scot had to be the one to do it. I don't know the details, so I wouldn't comment on it.

Q: What do you know about Mike Singletary?

Holmgren: I know he was a great player. He was still playing for the Bears when I was coaching in Green Bay. And I don't know him very well, personally. But what I've read about him and heard about him from people who do know him well, he's like the best guy there ever was. He's a quality human being, and a very intense, bright guy. It's interesting when you have the great, great, great players like Mike was, who choose to go into coaching, it's interesting to me. Because coaching isn't as glamorous as being the star football player. But clearly he wants to do this, and now he gets his crack at it.

Q: I'm sure you'll be flattered to find out your held in very high regard in the Bay Area. And when all this stuff happens, a lot of people are talking about you, knowing this is last year last in Seattle. What are your feelings about landing with the 49ers at some point in the future?

Holmgren: When I was at high school, at Lincoln High School, and for years, that was my dream job and it never quite came to fruition. But times change and right now, I think it's been stated and I stated it to my own guys (beat reporters) for the 27th time, the plan for me and Kath(y) is to take a year off after this time in Seattle. We've been here 10 years, and we love it here, and that's the plan. More importantly, right now, I have to figure out a way to beat the 49ers. So that's first and foremost. While I'm flattered - we have a lot of friends in the Bay Area - that's the plan right now.

Q: Can you ever envision at some point coming to the 49ers in some capacity?

Holmgren: Well, you know what, if it's OK with you guys, I'm going to refrain from commenting on that. I think it would be unfair to a lot of people, Mike Singletary, being one. It's too much of a hypothetical. Things in this crazy business change on a day-to-day basis. I'm going to remain fairly consistent with that, if it's OK. I'm not going to get into it.

Q: You may have addressed this one 27 times, too, but how are you going to spend that year off?

Holmgren: Well, I'm going to ride my motorcycle a little bit. I'm going to hang out at the beach a little bit. We're building a new home in Santa Cruz, so we're looking forward to that. I have six grandkids now, believe it or not, two little grandsons finally came. All the things that I haven't been able to do for the last 40 years or so. . . Bill Walsh, I remember him saying when we were in training camp at Rocklin one year. We're sitting around the table at 11 o'clock at night, you know, drinking bottled water. He said, 'You know, I understand, I really hear August is a pretty nice month.' The point was, we live a different life. So we'll see how it goes the next year.

Q: I didn't know they had bottled water in those days.

Holmgren: Well, maybe it wasn't . . . maybe it was lemonade.

Q: Did it have a cork in the top of the bottle?

Holmgren: I know this, with Bill, it was not a twist-off cap.

[pic - click to view]







Interesting Day 2 press conference with Mike Singletary


When it comes to his offense, Mike Martz is as protective as that squirrel from "Ice Age" is with his acorn - no one touches it but him. Mike Singletary learned that lesson yesterday. Asked today at his 10:45 a.m. press conference how much influence he'll have on the offensive side of the ball going forward, Singletary said this:


"I'll put it this way - Mike Martz is very proud of his offense. And I went in yesterday to talk to him and we were going to talk about a couple of things, and he said, "Well, what do you want to talk about?" Why do you want to talk about that?" But we had fun going through that, and I'm enjoying him and we had another conversation last night. ...

Over the first seven games of the season, Mike Nolan gave Martz carte blanche to run the offense as he saw fit. And it was Martz on Monday who convinced Nolan to stick with J.T. O'Sullivan at quarterback. It seems that Singletary also will give Martz plenty of room to operate. But he also held open the possibility of reining Martz in as he sees fit.

"I trust him to do the things he has to do. And the bottom line is that I have full confidence in Mike Martz and his staff going forward ...I think the bottom line is that if I feel that something needs to be a little changed or adjusted or whatever, then I will meet with Mike and we'll talk about it and we'll go from there. But other than that, I think Mike is a great coach. I feel very fortunate to have him."

There have been lots of questions over the last two days about why Singletary, not Martz, was tapped as interim head coach. The official word from the front office is that Martz has his hands full directing a new offense and a first-time starting quarterback. Another view (mine) is that McCloughan never wanted him in the first place. Remember last year when Martz's name first surfaced as a possibility? McCloughan dismissed it outright at the time, saying that Martz's style did not fit the personnel McCloughan had been a.ssembling over the past three seasons.

[pic - click to view]



 10-23-2008, 01:43 PM         #319
Myles Away  OP
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Damn Icon, Ralph absolutely tore Scot McCloughan a new one in that interview. That just guarantees York will never be on KNBR to answer any questions. The Yorks are clueless, you think McCloughan will be replaced by Holmgren in the off-season seeing that he's definitely not coaching?
 10-24-2008, 09:34 PM         #320
Myles Away  OP
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Nolan hits airwaves, recounts firing




Posted by Dan Brown on October 24th, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Categorized as Uncategorized

In a slightly different account than the one offered up by the 49ers, former Coach Mike Nolan told SIRIUS NFL Radio that Jed York alone informed him of his firing on Monday.

General Manager Scot McCloughan had said that he was present for the meeting as well. But Nolan said: “York was the one that told me and he told me in a one-on-one conversation in my office.”

Once he got word that he was out and Singletary was in, Nolan said he asked for permission to speak with Singletary himself. He said Singletary was going to turn the job down until Nolan persuaded him otherwise. “You’re not taking Mike Nolan’s job. You’re taking the 49ers job and they don’t have a coach,” he recalled telling Singletary.

Here is transcript of the very short question and the very long answer during Friday’s airing of “The Sirius Blitz.”

Host, John Riggins:
“Mike, could you share with us the conversation, or some of the things in the conversation, that you had with Mike Singletary before, I guess, or after he took the job?”

Mike Nolan:
“When they had told me I was fired, which Jed York had done, there was a lot of speculation about who did what. But Jed York was the one that told me and he told me in a one-on-one conversation in my office.

“Anyhow, I said, ‘Who’s the replacement?’ And they had mentioned Mike Singletary and I had said that I felt that was a good choice from the standpoint of keeping the team together. Because, you know, when they have things like this that go on and you pick an offensive or a defensive coordinator, not that either one of those guys even would’ve taken it, because I don’t think any of the coaches, you know, I think I have a very loyal bunch of coaches.

“I think that sometimes you get a division. All of a sudden players start to say, well, ‘my guy,’ ‘your guy’ and all that. So I thought Mike was a good neutral choice. Obviously, Mike Martz has got tremendous experience and could very well have handled the job. I mean, it’s not a question of handling the job, but they just felt, that’s who they had suggested to me.

“So I said, ‘Look it, you need to talk to Mike if you haven’t talked to him yet, because to let me go and not have somebody in line. I don’t know how that’s going to fare for you if he says no.’ So, anyhow, they spoke with Mike and I said, ‘Look it, I would imagine Mike’s going to want to come talk to me.’

“So Mike did. He came down after they spoke with him and he came to me and we sat down and I said, ‘Well, what’s up?’ And he told me what they all said, and he said, ‘I can’t do it.’ He says, ‘You’re my friend and I can’t do that.’

“And I said, ‘Well Mike,’ I said, by choice I chose a table other than my desk to sit down with Mike in my office, and I pointed to the desk and I said ‘Mike, I just want to tell you something,’ I said, ‘You see that desk, there’s no one sitting in it.’ I said, ‘I’m not the coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Right now they don’t have a coach.’ I said, ‘So for you to say you can’t do it because you’re going to take my job, you’re not taking my job.’ I said, ‘That job’s already been vacated.’

“I said, ‘Mike, you need to take that job.’ I said, ‘We came in here together. You know how important these players are to us and I think you’d do a hell of a job of keeping them together because right now that’s the most important thing, is just keeping them together.’ It’s not X’s and O’s, it’s not new ideas, everything’s kind of on autopilot as far as the schedule goes.

“I said, ‘They need somebody to lead them.’ I said, ‘I think you’d do the best job because of your position with this team. You are the a.ssistant head coach.’ I mean, we exchanged a couple more times where he said he didn’t feel right about this and that, but I just told him, I said, ‘Look Mike, they don’t have a coach, alright? You’re not taking Mike Nolan’s job. You’re taking the 49ers job and they don’t have a coach.’

“And so one thing led to another and it was emotional and it was not easy, but that’s kind of proof in the pudding, that’s how it went down.”

– The Sirius Blitz radio show airs weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m Pacific Time. It is available on on SIRIUS NFL Radio (SIRIUS channel 124, XM channel 105).

[pic - click to view]


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